Retreat Yourself

In late June 2014, I wrote a note in my phone of three simple “I am” statements to set the tone for my summer.  Pushing aside the millions of things to get done and ways to make two months off from the day job count, I set these “I am” statements at the core of my desires for that time.  At the heart of all of the “stuff” I had to do and wanted to do that summer, my true intentions were in these “I am” statements.  I typed:

I am

-reading.

-practicing yoga.

-mindful.

I didn’t even know what mindful meant or why I typed it— it just appeared there on the screen.  I am mindful… ok.  Let that sit.

I found a yoga studio near to where we were living.  I signed up for a month unlimited and then another month unlimited.  I took classes 3-5 times per week for the entire summer.  I am practicing yoga…  finally.  For months before that, I was thinking about it.  And I was telling myself that I “should” be practicing yoga.  But I never seemed to quite get around to it.  I let everything else jump the line and take up my precious time.  All it took was setting that clear intention: I am practicing yoga.  Like magic, I was.

I found two teachers whose style and energy matched what I was seeking in my practice and made darn sure to show up at their classes.  I dove all in, as I’m prone to do.  One of those teachers offered free guided meditation after classes, as the schedule allowed.  I stayed.  She shared about her practices, her studies through UMass. Medical School in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and her “real life” applications of these simple-yet-complex practices.  She had something here.  I hung on every word.

A friendship blossomed.  At the time, I hadn’t consciously revisited my note in my phone with my summer intentions, my “I am” statements.  But I was learning about mindfulness, that word I typed without knowing why.  My new mediation coach and friend recommended books that she was reading.  We started to hang out.  We shared this glorious spark of brilliance.  I knew I found a soul sister in Debbie.  Toward the end of August 2014, while rolling up my yoga mat after one of Debbie’s last yoga classes for the summer, I opened the notes in my phone… and there it was: I am mindful.  I manifested a practice, a coach and a friend with three words.  Don’t question the process.  Be open to being guided.  Set the intentions that are in your heart and take the action steps as they unfold.

This past Thursday, I had the honor of sitting at a full-day retreat of over 100 educators led by my soul sister Debbie and her colleague in mindfulness Cory.  They led us through the practices and applications of this life-saving, life-expanding gift called Mindfulness.  They are the real-deal.  I, who often cannot exhale without checking my phone 17 times, did not even check the time from 7:30 am until 4:35 pm.  That’s the magic that Debbie and Cory shared.

We learned about our relationship to stress, how to be with what is here, how to develop our mental fitness… I could go on and on.  I took 17 pages of notes.  But, if I can share only one take-away with you, it is this: replace resistance with curiosity.  Approach your day with an element of awe and wonder.

Debbie, I bow to you.  I am mindful.

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Topher & Co.

I had the honor of working with Topher, his brother Walter and their sister Nora last week.  Topher and Walter are friendly, active dogs and Nora is a beautiful kitty.  Their mom invited me over specifically to work with Topher but Reiki energy does not discriminate; it goes and flows wherever it is welcome and needed!  Upon my arrival, Walter and Topher greeted me with puppy-like fervor while Nora assessed me from afar.  I love cats for their moments like that—no nonsense, no pretense.  After we talked about some goals for our session, Topher’s mom left us to get down to business!

I anointed myself with Believe essential oil and sat on the floor in their living room.  As I started to tune in to the energy and my guides, Topher sat to my left, leaning his right side against my knee and crossed legs.  The color blue swirled around his energy.  As I worked on his crown chakra, I felt a sense of high alert and was compelled to send him the word “ease.”  When I worked on his throat chakra, I shared with him the message from my guides that he can tell his mom what he needs and she will always hear him.  I also connected with a heaviness on his right side, nothing to be concerned about per se, but just an awareness.

Topher bounced away after some time together and Walter walked over, almost like he had been waiting his turn.  Walter sat in my lap and we connected.  Both doggy brothers allowed lots of hands-on work throughout the session, probably the most I’ve ever had with new clients!  I “got” the “message” that Walter was a lawyer or some sort of negotiator in a past life or, if he were human in this life, that would be his career path.  I connected most with and worked on his sacral and root chakras.

Topher came back over and sat, somewhat at attention, in front of me this time.  I just do my thing and those who need the energy line up!  This time together, I was compelled to work more on his throat and solar plexus chakras.  I worked through his legs, hips and corresponding root chakra as well, sending to him that he is secure.  He “shared” with me that he senses a transition or a new family member.  In our post-session conversation, Topher’s mom confirmed that someone did recently move into their home.  Messages and connections like that are just confirmation for me that the energy is “working,” not that I ever doubted it anyway.

Nora stayed in the next room for the entirety of our session, regally grooming herself and never taking her eyes off of me.  I got a “den mother” vibe from her, as if she feels responsible to keep order in the house.  My closing messages, just from the space in general, were about a middle child energy and the number 7, all of which I shared with Topher, Walter and Nora’s mom in our chat after I closed out the session.  It was truly a beautiful hour with this happy, energetic family.  Topher, if you’re listening, just remember: ease!

Much love.

The Whole Crew
Photo Credit: Their Mom

 

It’s been a Year.

This isn’t about rabbits or Reiki.

A year ago, we said goodbye—well, sort of.  I said I would see you later that week.  I said we would talk more then (and I silently promised to turn my damn phone off at our next visit—no pointless distractions).  I walked out of your front door, it was a Saturday, fully intending to be back maybe on Wednesday, silently promising myself that I would not let the week go by without making time for a visit.  Just like this year, last August was zooming by.  About an hour after I left, you died.

I wonder a lot.  You know my brain is always going, barreling perhaps.  We only knew each other for a touch over two years.  Why was I the second-to-last person to see you in your earthly form?  Do you know how much you changed my life in a span of two years?  Can you fathom just how much you taught me?

If you didn’t leave this dimension when you did, would we still be friends?  Or would I have said something, done something, been something that you didn’t want to be around?  Would we be on the phone right now on this super-cloudy day?  Or would I be sitting here, telling myself that I better make time for you before my long vacation ends?

Ours is one of those friendships that didn’t seem likely but just makes so much darn sense.  16 years apart in age, vastly different families and upbringings.  You, tiny in stature, secure in purpose.  Me, average in size, barreling toward my purpose—you helped me find it.  It’s all your fault, that I’m finally living my dreams.

We bought the house I told you about, but you know that already.  We live so close to you now.  We actually have space to have people come inside the house!  I’m getting better every day.  You helped guide me on this path.  I hear your voice in my head.  I see you in yoga classes still—remember the lady whose pants were inside-out?!  I love how the same things annoyed us.

You were supposed to teach me to sew.  But let’s be serious, I wouldn’t do my own sewing anyway.  Did I teach you anything?  Is there anything you didn’t get to tell me?  Well, besides the messages that you are flooding me with now… shout out to my Spirit Junkies and other spiritual running buddies who have helped me further develop my gifts over the past year.  I “hear” so clearly now.

Your babies are doing great.  MM clipped their nails on Saturday.  Your garden is gorgeous.  Your world misses you.  You are screaming in my left ear right now—I hear you, love!!  I will keep living the dream for us both.

Amira

“They” say the energy goes where it needs to go—distance and time are not limitations, unless you treat them that way.  I’ve done my share of Distance Reiki sessions and I often “channel” furbabies from afar, but last weekend was my first official leap around the world: a Reiki session with a doggy in Australia!

I met Amira’s mom through an online spiritual business group.  We scheduled our session (after I was able to wrap my head around the time difference!) a few days in advance and I was ever-so excited to work with this cute pup.  About a half an hour before our session commenced, I sat in meditation to connect with Amira and her mom’s energy.  I anointed myself with Believe essential oil blend, my signature scent.  I connected with three concepts, restlessness, the number 3 and thoughtfulness, which I presented to Amira’s mom at the start of our session.

We joined together via Zoom at the appointed time, breakfast for them, almost bedtime for me and I explained how I “work” and get messages.  We talked about the restlessness I picked up on through my channeling, probably not uncommon for dogs in general, but Amira’s mom connected to my description.  The number 3, a beautifully spiritual number, didn’t particularly stand out to her but we let that be.  Then the thoughtfulness… I got the “message” that Amira is thoughtful, like if she were a person, she would be the type who remembers everyone’s birthdays.  Her mom liked that!  Super sweet.

Amira’s mom asked me to check in on Amira’s anxiety, particularly when she leaves the house, to make sure she’s comfortable and drinking her water.  From there, I started my direct work with Amira, who lied casually across her bed.  Starting with her crown, I felt pressure (but not pain!) and was compelled to send the word “freedom.”  I sensed a favoring of her left side and she “told” me that she likes to have her right ear scratched!

Amira transitioned into her mom’s lap at some point during our session, still comfortable and soaking in the vibes.  When working on her throat chakra, she acknowledged that she knows her mom listens to her—how beautiful!  Moving to her heart, I felt a darkness.  In our post-session conversation, I assured mom that this was NOT something scary or bad, but just something to keep an eye on, be open to… maybe get her a green toy, something to connect with the heart chakra.  On to the solar plexus, Amira feels safe and heard.  She feels a best friend energy with her mom and likes to be reminded of that.

Toward the close of our session, I connected strongly to Amira’s root chakra, checking in on the concerns mom expressed before we got started.  Amira knows she will be with her mom forever and she grips onto their relationship.  She also “showed” me the number 4.  I closed the session, beaming tons of love, light and energy for the greatest good of Amira, her family and their home.  I shared what I “heard” and “got” through the Reiki with Amira’s mom and thanked her for this opportunity to work together.  A beautiful family, a beautiful session.  Much Love.

Piper, Tyler & Remy

On Wednesday, I had the honor of sharing Reiki with a wonderful, diverse family.  When I say diverse, I’m taking size and species—a large rabbit, a tiny hamster and a typically-sized cat.  When I arrived, I spent some time talking with their mom S.  Rabbit Piper was hopping around, hamster Tyler was snuggling in my hands and cat Remy was nowhere in sight.  I explained to S. that whether Remy came out of hiding or not, he would still receive whatever energies he was open to.  Reiki is total magic like that.

I anointed my shoulders with White Angelica oil and gently rubbed a few drops of Valor oil between my palms.  S. had expressed some concern for Piper’s occasional nervous and anxious behaviors, so Valor was calling to me for this session.  I sat on the floor near to Piper’s pen with Tyler in a small cage to my left and Remy still lurking in the shadows.  Our session began with a heavy energy, but not in a bad way—more of a stable, solid kind of heavy.  I was drawn to the world “release” on repeat.  My root chakra was strongly in play here.  I felt very rooted in this environment, which is not a feeling I typically experience.  Again, the magic of Reiki:  I was “translating” the rooted, connected bond of this family.

After connecting with the energy of the space, I began to work directly with Tyler.  He “told” me the words “heal,” “peace” and “curious.”  He expressed the desire for his mom S. to read to him (totally adorable).  I was drawn to his right side and in our after-session recap I told S. to be attentive to that.

Next up, Piper, an alum from our Rescue group.  Piper didn’t want any hands-on work, which is common for prey animals.  He “told” me that he likes to hide a lot.  The energies drew my attention to his left eye, which I confirmed with S. in our recap that he had issues with that eye earlier in the year.  I had the most beautiful vision while working on Piper and his enclosure.  I don’t often see pictures through my work, as I’m more strongly claircognizant and clairsentient.  As I sent Reiki specifically to Piper’s pen, I saw what I can best describe as tubes of rainbow-colored rain with stars inside.  I invited the rainbow rain to flow through and around the home, showering the entire family and space with this stunning light and energy.  Piper came closest to me at this point.  He’s a cautiously receptive boy.  He feeds off of the energies around him.  I sent all I could to help ease his nerves.

I work mostly with my eyes closed, but they popped open at this point in our session and there was Remy.  I could feel the energy of the entire house follow Remy.  He needs to be the boss.  He came to me, close but not too close, acknowledged my presence, then walked away.  Piper quickly followed.  If Tyler wasn’t in a cage, he would have done the same.  That boss attitude—is that a cat thing in general?  Or just a Remy thing?  I’ll let S. decide how to handle that from here!

I closed the session with love, light and the greatest good for all beings and objects.  What a beautiful family and a beautiful afternoon.  Thank you S. for allowing me to share Reiki with your family.  Hoppy Birthday.  Much Love.

Even More from Masterclass

I’m glad I decided to break up these entries as it forces me to stop spinning and to bust out my nearly 40 pages of Masterclass notes… revisit the magic, with purpose.

Feelings… how often do we find ourselves forcing our feelings down or trying to make our feelings fit into some conventional box?  To paraphrase Gabby, have no agenda of what you’re supposed to be feeling.  Let it flow.  You don’t have to feel (or not feel) anything or experience life with the feelings and reactions that are thrust upon you by societal perceptions and “norms.”  Feel what you want!  Feel what is speaking to you, what is speaking from you.

I hear of more and more people identifying as empaths.  I am not one of them.  I, in fact, have a strong shut-off valve.  It comes naturally to me.  If I could box it up and sell it, I would.  Gabby talked about shifting toward compassion rather than empathy so we can heal, serve and not take on other’s energy.  My Rescue family, please print out the preceding sentence and tape it to your wall.  Read it every day.  Revisit it before opening your Rescue email, our volunteer FB group or going out on Rescue calls.  Compassion allows us to feel, heal and serve without the crushing moments that sometimes come with empathy.

On the first evening of Masterclass, Gabby urged us to write our stories and to call on our stories as our expertise and our wisdom.  Reading this line in my notebook is resonating strongly with me today, three-fold.  First, because I’m writing to you now.  Second, in business, we encourage each other to write our stories, to share why we use our products, the magic that these little brown bottles have brought into our lives in the areas of wellness, abundance and purpose.  People often hesitate to write or share their stories because they feel silly about it, they lack confidence in their writing or they don’t think anyone wants to hear their stories.  Culture and community is built on stories!  Write them, draw them, rap them—something!  Share your story; be proud of your journey.

Oh, and third… our Rescue newsletter would not exist without stories from our bunny families and volunteers.  Deadline for the next issue is rapidly approaching and I’ve been gently begging for stories.  Remember, sharing our stories will help save more rabbits and will continue to spread our mission.

The last line of the page of notes I’m reading and reliving says, “Lots of little right actions.”  Isn’t that what our journeys are?  Lots of little actions… some right, some wrong in the moment that eventually lead us to right.  Right being joy or purpose or learning or love.  The next page of my notes starts with me, my stream of consciousness flowing, “I feel perfect in this moment.”  And I do.  Much love.

Magnify

Perspective

You’ve heard it or read it a thousand times before… “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Dr. W. Dyer

That concept has swirled around me the past few days.  (Look at Summer Denise, writing on a Tuesday instead of Sunday… scandalous!).  I’m getting more and more comfortable with change, especially the changes that I didn’t necessarily invite into my life.  I’m shifting my perspective with an intention to see the value in the change for myself and for those with whom I share love.  I’ve always been the type to take words and promises very literally, particularly because I keep my own without question.  Not everyone is like that.  I’ve always assumed their breaking their word, and subsequently our trust, was purposeful.  I’m working to change the way I look at that.  I’m working, because this is wholly MY ISSUE, to see that everyone’s definition of loyalty and friendship is different.  And that’s cool.  Acceptance.

When I go to yoga classes, I rotate where I roll out my mat.  I used to be the type to want the same spot (middle row, side of the room) for every class.  When I switched studios two summers ago, I decided to change that habit.  Now I never get stuck in a rut, as I’m consciously shifting my perspective.  I’m able to be more present because the change in physical space keeps my brain more engaged.  I don’t shift into autopilot, then careen off to what I have to do after class “monkey mind” as easily.  I change the way I look at things every time I step into the studio.  Try it.

It’s not easy to move your spot, to say no, or to walk away from certain people, places or things.  Whether it be habit, pattern or sense of obligation, we sometimes find ourselves going places we don’t want to go, getting into conversations that feel “wrong,” or surrounded by elements that make us feel stifled, fake, even in pain.  Honor yourself.  Walk away.  Drift away.  Run away.  Whatever pace suites you.  I promise, I’m living proof, that when you surround yourself with the people, places and things that match your level, frequency, and power, your happiness, soul and success will soar.

Flip it on its head today.  Change that perspective.  Shed the confines of relationships and situations that no longer serve your highest good.  Hop into something that feels better, that feels right.  Then watch the miracles fly.  Much love.